Monday, August 2, 2010

"Should I Say Yes, Should I Say No..."

"Should I Say Yes, Should I Say No..." This is part of the chorus of the song "Should I Say Yes" - Nu Shooz. Lovely track that is. Reminds me of those 80's handbags that used to make use of a pulley system (the ones with long straps. You could actually use the strap for tethering a cow) as opposed to the modern ones  that can be used for smuggling babies to ferrying a crate of Tusker. I've heard them being referred to as "I don't know where I'm sleeping tonight". Here's a sample:

Yes or No, No or Yes. Whatever the permutation of these terms, they still remain two. Kenyans, in the upcoming referendum, have to pick Yes or No. Personally, I don't think the problem has ever been the constitution. It's always been the people. So what, we get a new constitution but the leadership and cultural elements remain the same? Just because the operational framework has changed doesn't guarantee an improvement in the status as much as it may pave a way for such. Do we need to have a new constitution so that we can prosper as individuals and as a nation? What is preventing us from doing what the proposed draft will enable us to do now? Is the current constitution  a justification of  our failure to prosper in certain areas or as a country for that matter?

Despite being the driving force behind the economy, I think the Kenyan middle class is utterly selfish. They don't give two shoes and an underwear about the poor and are the main players the man-eat-man society and are also at the forefront of perpetration of corruption. They have absolutely no faith in the government and systems and are fighting as much as possible to stay high above the poverty line. It's only the poor and rich who get to interact with the government. The poor because they have no one to turn to and the rich because they need to clinch "that deal" and thereafter pump funds into some election campaign.

Think about it, a  mongoloid like Kamlesh/Paul(not the octopus) Pattni was an average wanker like the rest of us until he discovered some loopholes in the regulations and he took a stab at it. Just look at where this exploit landed us...and where it landed him! on a pedestal (oh, I'm told it's now a pulpit) where he can rub shoulders with the rich and mighty.

Shall we ever live to see a revolution of the middle class? Shall we ever have secure expectations and faith in the system? I surely hope & pray so. Meanwhile, I shall exercise my civic duty to vote come August 4th 2010.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Urgh! I'll not go into introductions, preambles  or the stereotypical pace-setting paragraphs. Straight to the point. No hovering around the skirt! Okay, here goes.

The rains have really done it this time. Water is everywhere. Rivers have burst their banks and anything that can hold water is full to the brim. Dams and potholes alike...including the Kasuku container in my house that's been acting as a 'gutter' of sorts. In fact, there's a likelihood that Masinga dam shall overflow (if that hasn't happened already) forcing nearby residents.... (yidi yada yada)

KPLC on the other hand are still proving be award-winning colossal wankers. Just a few months ago, there was power-rationing on an almost full-time basis and now the HEP dams are full and power supply is still erratic. And into the spin-off we go...

KPLC can save face by offering an incentive to factories; yeah, those folks in manufacturing. Here's a sketch:
  1. Offer significant rebates on power supply to manufacturing companies on condition that the companies operate full time i.e. 24/7 (revenues remain somewhat constant; more power at less cost vs. less power at high cost)
  2. Manufacturing companies take on more workers to work overnight; creating employment
  3. Chances of the dams overflowing are reduced due to the artificial increase in demand for electricity.
Of course this 'model' has a number of flaws which, sadly, cannot be caught by an awk script.

Haya, kazi kwisha.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Disappering Act

One of the most famous illusionists of all time is Harry Houdini. I don't know much about him except for the information I've gathered on the Internet. Case in point, this guy could disappear and make stuff disappear.

Ordinarily, the average working Kenyan employs a housie a.k.a house-help, maid, mboch (Sheng) to tidy up the house. For those with little kids the house-help is usually resident but for the majority (I think) the person comes on designated days of the week to tidy up the kraal. This is the arrangement I currently have with one cleaning lady whom I shall refer to as "Auntie".

Last week, some maize flour fell victim to my Ugali spinning prowess. This white, solid cake-like mass was accompanied by honey-glazed chicken. The practice at home is to get the raw cereal and haul is to a posho mill for...milling (duh) So, on this eventful night, the flour (or flawa/flower as the case may be) container was full to the brim less the little that was subjected to my gastric juices.

As usual, Auntie came the next day to tidy up the house and all was well in the evening when I  got home. A day later, the Ugali cravings struck again. It is at this point I almost collapsed. 

For starters, the flour container felt lighter than usual. Hmmm. I placed it on the kitchen shelf and took a look at my biceps. They were still the same size; if not deflated. In two days, the flour level had dropped by half. HALF!! Now this is not a small container. It can hold about 10 litres of water. Did the flour evaporate from a sealed container? Had it been mixed with some radioactive material that caused to combust without smoke? Of course not!! Auntie had pulled a Houdini!

Auntie has been coming over for almost 3 years now but that doesn't give her the right to expedite quantity control techniques on house supplies. What happened to common courtesy? "Ask and it shall be given unto you", the great book says. 

There's been a serious breach of trust here and that warrants an inquisition and perhaps a summary dismissal.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Matatu Songbirds

Early morning traffic in Nairobi is usually characterised by every comprehensible form of commotion with the exception of unicorns, mermaids and suicide bombers. An ordinary morning in a matatu shuttle features some the following sights, sounds & smells:
  • A conductor who is severely hangovered from a combination of nocturnal activity and a conglomerate of alcoholic drinks
  • A mixture of a myriad of perfumes,colognes, soaps, creams, sweat and what-nots in the air
  • Bump and grind R&B playing on the radio...and sometimes accompanied by a video projected on a very large screen situated at the front depending on the kind of matatu you've boarded
More often than not, some madam seated in the mid-section of the matatu shall be singing along to one of the ballads playing on the radio most notably the Whitney Huston & Boys II Men kind.

This is where all hell breaks loose.

Aside from not knowing the lyrics to the songs, the singer's high-pitched voice is horrid. If you've ever stepped on a hyena's tail, then you have a good idea. To make matters worse, they can't stick to the key of the song. This reminds me of the estate Jumuias (Christian Communities) where as soon as you strike the first chord on the guitar, the gathered faithful immediately dive into the hymn in different keys and pitch. It's annoying, irritating and on some occasions, traumatising. Don't get me wrong, I'm a firm believer in freedom of expression in whichever way you deem fit. However if your freedom impedes my peaceful ride (reckless driving notwithstanding) to the destination, I take issue.

Some hidden talents should remain hidden.